While Jackson Perkins Roses was started in 1872 by Charles Perkins and A.E. Jackson, originally to sell strawberry and grape plants, the company didn’t really come into its own until several decades later. Just before the turn of the 20th century, they hired a man named Alvin Miller who began working on hybridizing roses as a side project with the company. As it turned out he was quite good and one of his early varieties, the rose Dorothy Perkins, became one of the most popular roses in the world.
After the success of the first roses, Jackson & Perkins began shifting their business model to make roses their primary business and the rest his history. Today Jackson & Perkins is a leading producer of roses and you will find their plants in gardens around the world. Their company currently operates over 5000 acres of land that is dedicated to roses and their full service mail order division will ship plants to just about any location worldwide.
Growing Jackson & Perkins roses is not all that difficult and if you have done any rose growing in the past, then you likely already have some understanding of what you’re getting into. The most important decision that you will make in the life of your roses is where in your garden you ultimately choose to grow them. Roses require a lot of sun light if you want them to perform well so do your best to try and provide them with a location that gets no less than 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.
You also will want to grow your Jackson Perkins roses in soil that drains very well. For many rose growers this might seem like a common sense thing to say, but you might be surprised to discover how many growers overlook this critical requirement. If you are unsure about the quality of your garden soil you can either mix your own, typically with 1 part of a good organic compost for every 2 parts of soil, or you can buy pre-mixed soil from your local garden center. These days there are wide range of commercial soil mixes available, many of which work wonderfully for roses. Pick one of these and your roses will thank you for it.
Getting your roses into the ground is not a hard task and most growers can get this job done easily with just a few basic hand tools. How you go about planting your roses does depend a little on how you purchased them. If you bought your roses from a local nursery, then chances are they were already planted in a container for you and ready to go. These really are the easiest roses to plant. Dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container, and equally as deep. This will keep the bud union at its original depth while giving you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix.
If you ordered your Jackson Perkins roses online, then they may have come to you as bareroot plants, which is not uncommon. You should first soak the roots of these overnight in a bucket of room temperature water, prior to planting day. Then dig your hole as wide as the longest roots on the plant, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant on top of a mound of soil, while keeping the bud union no more than an inch or so below the surface of the soil.
Once you have your rose set in place on top of the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill the hole only halfway to start, using your soil mix. Take your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows all around the roots like mud, then go ahead and finish filling the hole the rest of the way. Give the soil one last heavy watering and be sure to top off any final settling that may occur but do not tamp down the soil.
Taking care of your roses is pretty straight forward and once again, any past experience will certainly come in handy here as well. You will need to make sure that you provide your roses with enough water and nutrients, while being careful not to overdo it. For most climates this usually amounts to one deep watering per week. If you live in a hot or dry climate, you should check on your roses every couple of days to be sure.
You also should consider giving your Jackson Perkins roses a dose of a granular, all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves start to open. This will get your roses off to a great start. Many roses are repeat bloomers, which means they will do very well with a couple additional feedings over the course of the growing season. I will usually give my roses their second feeding immediately following the first big bloom, with a third feeding sometime around midsummer to encourage late season blooms.
You should prune your roses in the late winter or very early spring, when the weather starts to warm, but before the leaves fully open. This will make the task of pruning so much easier on you and your roses. Start by removing all the dead and discolored wood from the plant, and set your cuttings aside. Next, prune back any overlapping lateral canes from the plant as these will eventually compete with one another for sun light when the leaves are fully open. Lastly, give the remaining canes on the plant a cut back by about one third of their current height to promote new growth.
This is also the best time to clean up around the base of your Jackson Perkins roses and get rid of all the debris that tends to collect there from the previous growing season. Throw all of this material away in the trash along with your cuttings. Finish up your pruning by giving your roses a fresh layer of mulch to start off the growing season. Your Jackson Perkins roses will thank you for it.
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